National Pet Day: Honoring Their Unconditional Love

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Every year, National Pet Day celebrates not only our beloved dogs but all types of pets, whether furry, finned or feathered!

National Pet DayNational Pet Day

When Is National Pet Day?

National Pet Day is scheduled every year for April 11.

This pet holiday was established in 2007 by celebrity pet and family lifestyle expert Colleen Paige– the creator of National Dog Day, National Cat Day and other annual odes to animals– as a way to promote the option of pet adoption.

How Pets Help Us

According to the CDC, the love we give a pet benefits not only the pet but the human as well:

“Studies have shown that the bond between people and their pets is linked to several health benefits, including:

  • Decreased blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and symptoms of PTSD.
  • Increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities; better cognitive function in older adults; and more opportunities to socialize.”

How Many Pets Are There?

OK, we’ve established that pets benefit us (a fact we all already knew!) but just how many pets are there in the US?

According to the US Census Bureau, nearly half of all housing units (owned and rented) in the US have at least one pet.

Dogs are the most common type of pet, with 49 million US households sharing their space with at least one dog.

Just over 28 million households have a cat (but it is more typical for cat households to have multiple cats, compared to dogs, so there are more owned cats than dogs).

2021 Household Pets[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]

How Can You and Dog Celebrate?

Looking for ways to celebration National Pet Day with your dog? Here are a few ideas:

Take your dog for a long walk: Not only will it be great exercise for your dog, but you’ll both enjoy some fresh air and quality time together.

Give your dog a special treat: Treat your dog to their favorite snack or a new special treat. You could also make homemade dog treats if you enjoy baking.

Buy your dog a new toy: Dogs love to play, so get them a new toy to keep them entertained. You could also play fetch or tug-of-war with them using their favorite toy.

Schedule a photo session: Whether you book a professional or spend a few minutes photographing your dog with your phone, you’ll capture memories with your best friend.

Give the greatest gift of all: Although purchasing the latest cat toy on the market and tasty treats are wonderful ways to show your dog how much you care, love is the greatest gift of all. On National Pet Day, and every day, set aside some special time out of your hectic schedule to just sit with, hold and talk to your fur baby.

While this pet holiday is a time to celebrate the joy that your dog brings to your life, the holiday is also a time to give joy to other companion animals who are in need of a forever home to call their own. Pay a visit to your local shelter and sign up to be a volunteer, or make a donation of much-needed daily supplies, blankets, pet beds or toys.

If you think that your feline would like to welcome another furry member into your family, meet the adorable adoptables at your area shelter and rescue groups, or search online at AdoptAPet.com, PetFinder.com or PetHarbor.com!

Other Pet Holidays You May Enjoy

We have an entire calendar of pet holidays throughout the year, from fun events to serious awareness days and months. You may also enjoy these dog holidays:

National Therapy Animal Day

Lost Dog Awareness Day

Dog Therapy Appreciation Day

World Stray Animals Day

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